Tuesday, April 20, 2010

1st Quilt Ever -- Block Assembly Pt 1

Now that you've got your squares all cut out, it's time to start assembling nine-patches!

There is no exact science to this. We are making a scrappy quilt, so everything can for the most part be pieced together randomly.

We will start by assembling rows of three squares.

Take two squares (not two of the same fabric, obviously) and layer them right sides together. Sew along one edge with a 1/4" seam allowance. There is no need to backstitch when piecing quilts! Once you have reached the end of your seam, take a couple more stitches off the edge and stop -- but do not remove your sewn pieces. We are going to chain piece!

Layer your next two squares right sides together. Begin sewing again with your fabric right in front of your presser foot. The feed dogs will draw your squares under the presser foot and you can continue sewing. Continue this way until you have sewn together 27 pairs of squares, then clip the threads between the pairs.

Stack your pairs and prepare to sew a third square to each.

One quick note about your blocks... Keep in mind that if you have a particular fabric whose squares you want to keep whole, you will need to place them on the ends of your rows -- never in centers.

Open each pair and sew a third square to each, chain piecing as before.

You will end up with 27 rows of three, and three leftover squares. Set the extra squares aside for later -- you will need them!

(Remember -- you are not pressing yet! We'll do it later!)

Next you will lay out and arrange your nine-patches. This is one of the fun parts of the process!

I like to spread mine out on the floor, auditioning and arranging each nine-patch. Be sure you don't end up with any squares of the same fabric touching each other -- besides that one detail, there is no wrong way to do this!

You may want to keep this little diagram in mind as you lay out your squares:

Only the squares in the corners will not be cut -- all others will!

Once you are happy with your nine-patches, Stick a pin in the center square of each one. This will be helpful in a later step.

Stack your nine-patch rows on top of each other, in order -- top, middle, bottom. Stack your nine-patch stacks on each other, staggering every other to keep them separate.

You're set for the next step!

(You can see Susan's progress step-by-step at her blog, Darling Petunia!)


Lynette said...

Whoa, that took a couple times to read through but I think I get it now! It'll have to wait till after finals are over though, sadly. :(

EHC said...

Perfect timing!!! I just finished cutting my squares last night and was so antsy to start putting it together. This is my first non-tied quilt. I'm actually using the leftover fabric from when I made Baby E's nursery gear/linens, along with a few well-placed (I hope) solids. Can't wait to see it take shape!

Jen said...

Ooooh tricky- so that's how you get all those smaller pieces. You're not really sewing teeny, tiny pieces together, you're cutting them AFTER you've sewn bigger pieces. I never knew that. You sneaky quilters you :)

Anonymous said...

Looking good, love the grey and yellow combo!

Miss Muffin said...

Oh, now I get it! I was already wondering why you cut only squares!? CLEVER!

inday_adin said...

I sure don't know about quilting and have never tried. Maybe I should someday! :) I love visiting your blog. Cool stuff!

Adin B

Christine said...

Do you just use white thread?

I had to order fabric online & haven't received it yet so only about half is cut so far. I'm hoping to catch up soon!

Care said...

Hi Christine -- Sorry for taking so long to respond!

You can use any color of thread, as long as it will blend in well -- i.e. NOT black if it is a white quilt! :o)

Piecing is where I use up some of those weird colors of thread I have that I am very unlikely to have a future project for!

erica said...

this tutorial is pretty much the best thing ever. I've been wanting to try making a quilt for awhile, but didn't know where to start...this is perfect!

handmadehappiness said...

so thats how it's done i was wondering why there were only squares!!!!! well of to do the fun bit now!!!!!

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